You may think that if you have a roadside assistance plan either through your insurance or a local towing service, all you need to do is call them up and say, “I need help,” and they’ll be on their way to rescue you. Unfortunately, even though drivers and roadside assistance plans want to be there for you when you need them, you’ll need some crucial information on hand to be able to give them so that they can access your plan’s information and, more importantly, find you when you’re stranded on the road.
Towing companies can generally find you no matter where you are, but without all the proper information on hand, they won’t be able to provide the assistance you need, and in the worst cases, they may be unable to help you at all without additional equipment or resources. Bad things happen, but that’s why you should always carry pertinent information with you or be able to access it when you need it.
To help you in your time of need, we’ll break down the types of information you should have handy right when you call for a tow or roadside assistance.
Know the Type of Assistance You Need
This is the first thing you’ll want to know when you call for roadside assistance. You should be able to accurately describe your situation and the type of help you might need. This lets the tow truck driver better prepare to come to your aid. It’s as simple as saying whether you’re in need of a battery charge, fuel, a tire change, a tow, or whatever other services. If you’re broken down and unsure of the issue, it’s important to communicate your exact situation to the towing service.
There’s no reason to be ashamed or to be upset, these things happen, but it’s important that you communicate your needs clearly to get proper help.
Know Your Location
It’s true tow truck drivers usually know the areas they service very well, but side roads, back roads, and highways all have different dangers. If your vehicle has GPS, then it is quite easy to find your exact location. If that isn’t an option, then knowing the nearest intersection, as well as any nearby landmarks, is important to help them find you.
Determining where you are and what kind of road you are on will let the tow driver be better equipped to extricate your vehicle if necessary, besides being able to actually find your vehicle in heavy traffic or on a difficult-to-navigate road.
Know Your Make, Model, and Condition
The other part of being able to find your vehicle and tow it or repair it successfully is being able to distinguish the make, model, and overall condition of the vehicle. You may want to include the color and any additional distinguishing features in case your car is in a crowded area.
Knowing the shape of your car will help roadside assistance determine what equipment to bring and what actions may be necessary to get you roadworthy or whether you will need a tow instead. You may think you know what’s wrong, but there’s nothing worse than getting a jump start or a bit of gas and learning that wasn’t the only thing wrong with your car. It’s important to provide as many details as possible to help prepare for any possible problems.
Have Your insurance Information Handy
In case you need to file a claim or have some sort of secondary issue, or if your insurance pays for your roadside assistance plan, then you want your policy and basic information handy to give to the operator and/or the tow truck driver so that you can speed up the overall process. There’s nothing worse than delayed service due to missing paperwork.
Know Your Mechanic or Service Shop’s Location
When it comes down to it, you may not be able to get back on the road, so it may be that you need to be towed to a repair or service shop in order to get your vehicle back in driveable shape.
It’s important to have your mechanic or shop of choice’s location and business information on hand so that the tow driver can get you to the right destination in the event that you must be towed instead of getting assistance on the scene. If you don’t have a preferred mechanic, then the driver may be able to recommend a reputable shop to take your vehicle to. Just be sure to be clear about the destination beforehand.
That’s it. Those are some of the key pieces of information you will need to have handy should you ever have the need to call for roadside assistance. This will make everything go much quicker and smoother.